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[INFO] Tips n Tricks areaMysteryFCM
Backing up your Avant Browser settingsMysteryFCM
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Using the HOSTS file: A beginners pointerMysteryFCM



Using the HOSTS file: A beginners pointer - MysteryFCM

The HOSTS file is a standard file within Windows that is accessed by Windows before the browser loads the website you have requested. This file does not have an extension (it is simply named "HOSTS") is typically hidden by Windows to prevent users deleting it. The location of this file will depend on the version of Windows you are running.

For a Windows 9x/ME machine, this file is stored in;

[drive]\%windir%\

For NT systems and above, this file is stored in;

[drive]\%windir%\system32\drivers\etc

NB: %windir% is the system variable for the Windows folder. This is typically either "Windows" or "WinNT".

Editing the HOSTS file manually

To edit the HOSTS file manually, click Start > Run. Then enter the following;

For Windows 9x/ME users;

notepad %windir%\HOSTS

For NT, 2000, XP, Server 2003 users;

notepad %systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

NB: %systemroot% is the system variable for the Windows folder on NT and above systems.

IMPORTANT: As the HOSTS file does not have an extension, you must ensure you DO NOT save it with one!!

Third party applications

For those less inclined to edit the HOSTS file manually, the following are excellent FREEWARE programs that allow you to do this.

Hosts file manager:
http://mvps.org/PracticallyNerded/Software.htm
DNSKong: http://www.accs-net.com/hosts/DNSKong.html
Hostess: http://accs-net.com/hostess/
Hostsman: http://pwp.netcabo.pt/0413933601/hostsman.html

To toggle the HOSTS file usage by Windows (enabled/disabled).

HostsToggle: http://accs-net.com/hosts/HostsToggle/

Third party HOSTS files

hpHosts*: http://www.hosts-file.net
MVPS: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

* An online database of the hpHosts file can now be found at:

hpHosts Online
http://mysteryfcm.co.uk/hphod

Further information

Further information on the HOSTS file, how to use it, and what it can do for you, can be found at;

What is the HOSTS file?
http://www.accs-net.com/hosts/what_is_hosts.html

Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File
http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

HOSTS File: Wholesale blocking
http://castlecops.com/article-5660-nested-0-0.html

The HOSTS file, and what it can do for you
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/tutorial51.html

Protecting the HOSTS file
http://antivirus.about.com/od/securitytips/ss/hosts.htm

NetBIOS Name Resolution Using DNS and the HOSTS File
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=142309

Problems using Internet Explorer with an incorrect HOSTS file
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=219843

Differences between the HOSTS and LMHOSTS files in Windows NT
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=105997

Tip URL: http://avant.it-mate.co.uk/?c=Tips&s=21#tip

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